A majority of the public believes the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (search) was part of a larger conspiracy, not the act of one individual. In addition, most Americans think there was a cover-up of facts about the 1963 shooting.
On the 40th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, a recent FOX News poll shows most Americans disagree with the government’s conclusions about the killing. The Warren Commission (search) found that Lee Harvey Oswald (search) acted alone when he shot Kennedy, but 66 percent of the public today think the assassination was “part of a larger conspiracy” while only 25 percent think it was the “act of one individual.” These new poll results are similar to previous surveys conducted by Louis Harris and Associates in 1967, 1975 and 1981, when about two-thirds also felt the shooting was part of a larger conspiracy.
The FOX News poll, conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search), also shows that most Americans (74 percent) think there was a cover-up of the facts about the assassination of JFK. Few people (14 percent) think “we know all the facts” and 12 percent are unsure.
"For older Americans the Kennedy assassination was a traumatic experience that began a loss of confidence in government," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. "Younger people have grown up with movies and documentaries that have pretty much pushed the 'conspiracy' line. Therefore, it isn't surprising there is a fairly solid national consensus that we still don't know the truth."
Despite a majority believing there was a cover-up, there is widespread agreement that no additional inquiries should be done — 74 percent say the government should not conduct another investigation into the assassination, compared to 20 percent who think it should.
There are few differences between demographic groups on these questions, with the most noticeable gap a partisan one. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to think President Kennedy’s assassination was part of a larger conspiracy (73 percent to 58 percent), and also more likely to think there was a cover-up (81 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Republicans).
Polling was conducted by telephone October 14-15, 2003 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.
1. This November is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Do you feel that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the act of one individual or part of a larger conspiracy?
*Harris: “Do you feel that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the act of one individual or part of a larger conspiracy?”
2. Do you think that we know all the facts about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or do you think there was a cover up?
3. Do you think the government should conduct another investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy?